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DEC seeks public comment on Draft Neversink River Unit Management Plan

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today announced the release of the Draft Neversink River Unit Management Plan (UMP) for public comment. The plan guides the future uses and management of approximately 8,644 acres of DEC-managed public lands within the Neversink River Unit in the towns of Forestburgh, Highland, Mamakating, and Wawarsing.

“These properties are popular recreational destinations for hiking, fishing, paddling, camping, hunting, and more,” said DEC Regional Director Kelly Turturro. “DEC is dedicated to improving access, preserving natural features, and protecting fish and wildlife habitats on these lands.”

The unit includes: the Neversink River Unique Area; Wolf Brook Multiple Use Area; Hickok Brook Multiple Use Area; Oak Ridge Multiple Use Area; and Painters Hill Multiple Use Area. The properties are “green certified” forested public land in Sullivan and Ulster counties and managed by DEC’s Division of Lands and Forests.

The draft plan includes:

  • Expansion of the Katrina Falls Parking Area to a 20-car capacity and accessible parking facilities on the Neversink River Unique Area;
  • Development of a breach plan to improve water flow in the Eden Brook tributary to the Neversink River;
  • Installation of information kiosks for all parking areas within the unit;
  • Construction of an accessible tent site at Hickok Brook Multiple Use Area;
  • Improvements to accessible ATV trail that provides access to the Neversink River for qualifying individuals with mobility impairments on the Neversink River Unique Area;
  • Development of an accessible ATV route for qualified individuals with mobility impairments to the Hackledam Area of the Neversink River Unique Area;
  • Improvements to existing facilities; and
  • Implementation of a sustainable ten-year forest management schedule for all lands within the unit.

DEC is holding a public meeting at the Sullivan County Legislative Meeting Room of the Sullivan County Government Building, 100 North St, Monticello NY 12701, on Aug. 4, from 6 to 8 p.m. The public meeting will provide an opportunity to learn more about the proposed management actions in the draft UMP and public comments will be accepted following a presentation that provides an overview of the draft plan.

Proposed management actions will be guided by DEC’s Strategic Plan for State Forest Management, which focuses on ecosystem health and diversity, economic benefits, recreational opportunities, forest conservation, and sustainable management.

Comments can be submitted by Aug. 19, 2022, by mail to DEC Division of Lands and Forests, 21 South Putt Corners Rd. New Paltz, NY 12561, and by email to [email protected].